From Soil to Glass, Experience Mount Avoca
Boasting quality and authenticity from soil to glass, we’ve discovered one of Victoria’s best kept secrets, Mount Avoca.
Mount Avoca can be found nestled within the one of Australia’s finest wine regions, The Pyrenees. The natural beauty of this wine region is only surpassed by its incredible wines, with Mount Avoca reigning the title of Australia’s most highly awarded organic winery.
Mount Avoca produces pure, clean organic wines with passion and integrity. The wines are grown, made and bottled on the estate and independently audited and certified Organic in both the vineyard and winery and independently judged as amongst the best in Australia.
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Visiting Mount Avoca
Mount Avoca offers a beautiful and relaxed cellar-door experience and is a world away from the city and suburbs. The sandstone cellar door overlooks the vines and Pyrenees ranges, offering the perfect backdrop as you sip on their fully Australian Certified Organic wines.
If a day trip to Mount Avoca doesn’t suffice, you can extend your visit and stay at one of the three architect designed “Eco-Luxe” lodges. Find pleasure and joy in an experience that lingers in the memory long after the last drop has passed your lips.
The Organic Wine Story
Mount Avoca was founded in 1970 by John and Arda Barry, with Matthew Barry and sons now carrying on the family tradition. John Barry instilled a “clean and green” ethos in Matthew as he was a pioneer in the Ausvit minimal spray program in 1980, using natural pesticides and native Australian insects to attack caterpillars.
Dedicated to self-sustaining environmental principles since its establishment, Mount Avoca is now the only organic certified vineyard and winery in the region and one of the leaders in combining organic and sustainable viticulture in a modern framework as well as innovation with traditional quality winemaking.
The Region of Mount Avoca
The Pyrenees Wine Region is one of Australia's finest wine regions and is often underrated. Mount Avoca is located just outside the historic Gold Rush town of Avoca, the wine capital of the Australian Pyrenees is renowned for its understated quality. With a thriving wine shop and vineyards in the late 1800s the region is one of the oldest wine regions in the country.
To describe the wines of the region, they are intense with flavour and carry the hallmarks of individuality and character. Flying under the radar, many of the wineries in the Pyrenees are small and publicity shy. The Pyrenees really is a tasting treasure waiting to be unearthed.
Second generation owner and winemaker, Matthew Barry, has continued the environmental ethos and practice instigated by his father, achieving Australian Organic Classification in both the vineyard and the winery. Following in his father’s footsteps was a natural choice, and Matthew led Mount Avoca down the road less travelled to treat the vineyard like a garden in pursuit of that elusive purity of flavour and vivaciousness.
Mount Avoca’s search for quality led to a completely natural chemical-free philosophy. The organic certification was a by-product of growing the best quality fruit, and Matthew explains that becoming an organic winery was completely unplanned.
“Our holy grail was always totally amazing wines with a purity of flavour and no chemical residues at all– the certification was a happy side-effect” says Matthew Barry.
Q&A with winemaker Matthew Barry
How did you get into wine?
My grandfather was a claret lover long before wine was “a thing”. My father met my mother at Jimmy Watson’s so I guess wine was always going to be part of my life.
What do you love about wine?
As both a science geek and an artist I love that wine is both science and art.
What’s your favourite go-to wine for drinking?
This week I am loving our new Headspace Pinot Noir – something different from the Pyrenees
What would be a special one of yours that you would open when friends come over?
The Calling Shiraz of course – smooth, complex and delightful in every way.
What do you like about your region? What are the people like?
The Pyrenees is one of the best kept secrets in Australia. Clean pristine eucalypt forests, honest hard-working folk and a distinct lack of pretentiousness that sets us apart from many other regions.
If you had to describe your winery or wines to people have never tried it before what would you say?
Our sense of place is really important – we think we capture the honesty of the fruit flavours and wrap it in an easy to access wine. While our wines are refined and complex, on the other hand they are very easy to drink and approachable.
What are you goals for the brand in the future?
The journey is always an interesting one running a small business, even more challenging when it involves agriculture prone to all the problems that entails plus retail which is another challenge in its own right. We would love our brand to be synonymous with integrity and sustainability and be better known outside our home state of Victoria.
What’s a wine you’ve produced that your most proud of and why?
Wines are like pets – you love them all for different reasons and it can be hard to put one above the other. I would say I am most proud that all of our Estate wines are now organic – winning wine of the year accolades and trophies is a confirmation we are travelling in the right direction, but the work the whole team puts in to make the vineyard and wines the best they have ever been is very fulfilling.
When you need to relax and unwind and get away from the wine world, what do you do?
I like to build. Designing and then creating is always satisfying – in business it can take a long time to see results, I enjoy the short time frame of starting with nothing and having a finished project in just a day or two.
If you could go anywhere for a holiday where would it be and what would you drink there?
To be honest I would choose a holiday for a lot of reasons, what kind of drinks they have would be the least of my concerns. I have travelled a lot and every place and culture offers something new and different – nothing better than discovering a new place, new foods and drinks and the stories that are behind them.